The Poet’s Garden by A. F. Moritz is a passionate denunciation of injustice, especially as seen in the violent injustice directed to the African diaspora in North America. Comprised of a long poem, “The Garden in the Midst”, and an in-depth essay, “The Poet’s Garden,” the book centers on the South Central Los Angeles “riot” of 1992 in response to the acquittal of police officers caught badly beating Rodney King in 1991. From this central point, the poem and essay reach out to encompass the May 2020 police murder of George Floyd, the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, and the long history of legalized criminal repression these two deaths belong to. Largely completed in 1992, Moritz returned to his manuscript in 2020 following the death of Mr. Floyd out of self-interrogation and grief. The Poet’s Garden suggests that only the essence of poetry can prove antithetical antidote—if there can even be one—to this human crime and tragedy.
The Poet’s Garden is forthcoming in Spring 2021.